Why it is hard leaving a bad marriage

It’s rare to find someone who embraces change with enthusiasm. When you know that change will turn your life upside-down and you don’t know what to expect. This rule of thumb can be applied to leaving a marriage. Rachael Scharrer, divorce and relationship expert, coach and founder of DivorceAnswered.com.au share five main factors that can help you to understand why it is hard to leave a bad marriage:

  1. Commitment to your decision. For some people, the break-up and then find that life is a little more challenging than they had hoped so they go back to their bad relationship. It takes a brave person to leave a marriage (bad or not) and create a new future for themselves.
  2. Time and effort. Financially, emotionally and structurally, you and your partner are intertwined. Untying yourselves takes a lot of effort and time, especially in antagonistic or fractious break-ups, the process becomes particularly time, energy and cost intensive.
  3. Uncertainty of what life will be like and how to afford your new life. The unknown can be scary. Uncertainty of income and expenses, where you will live and what the future looks like is enough to encourage some people to stay in the same place, with the same routine.
  4. Self-confidence in your decision. Deciding to leave a bad marriage and wholeheartedly believing that you have made the right decision at the time (no matter what your reasons for leaving are) can make some people stay in the ‘rut’ of their bad marriage. There will always be questions that you will ponder over, like “what if…?” “If I …,” “I should have…” Continually looking to the past and re-living the
  5. You have become conditioned. For some people, they may have been subjected to abuse within the marriage – emotionally, mentally, physically, verbally, sexually or socially. It often starts as a subtle put downs and overtime becomes more obtuse. When someone close to you continually says that you are not enough and they say it often enough, you start to believe it. This conditioning creates an undeserving self-perception – that you aren’t deserving of a better relationship or a better lifestyle – and this becomes a huge hurdle to overcome.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one checklist that you can go through that will tell you whether leaving your marriage is the right decision. However, you can prepare if you feel like the relationship you are in isn’t healthy or safe. To all clients and friends considering separation, I recommend that they go through the Divorce Answered Separation Checklist. It can help to create order by collating the essential documents, paperwork and items into a ‘safe’ box and place it to the side. If you decide to proceed with the separation, then you have made a head-start. If you decide to stay in your marriage, then there isn’t any harm done.

A word of caution: the grass is not always greener. Throughout all relationships, life throws curve-balls and the relationship takes a toll. Just because life becomes tough is not the right decision to leave your relationship – it is temporarily more difficult outside of the relationship and often it is difficult in a different way. Whether your challenges are work, children, family, financial or other, assessing whether you are facing a hurdle, barrier, obstacle or challenge that is temporary, periodic or long-term and whether you can live with it. These are questions that only you are able to answer for yourself.

If you want to explore whether leaving your relationship is right for you, please book a Life Coaching /Strategy Session here: www.divorceanswered.com.au/strategy-session/.

Remember, if you want a head-start on your potential or impending separation, review the Divorce Answered Separation Checklist


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. DivorceAnswered.com.au cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd